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The reports of casting for Fox’s new Fantastic Four film, to be directed by Josh Trank, have been plagued by more rumor and speculation than most movies of this type, and to date we don’t have any official confirmation of casting choices. So far, Miles Teller is said to be the choice to play Reed Richards, aka the body-stretching Mr. Fantastic, while Michael B. Jordan has long been linked to play Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch.

Now those casting choices are confirmed, and new reports say that Jamie Bell will play Reed’s buddy and eventual teammate Ben Grimm, who becomes the rock-like Thing. And Kate Mara is now firmly linked to the role of Sue Storm, who acquires powers of invisibility and is, consequently, called the Invisible Woman.

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Fantastic Four

With about a year and a half left until its release, Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four is making some significant progress. Fox is reportedly planning to test actors for the parts of Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic and Sue Storm / The Invisible Woman by the end of the month, as Simon Kinberg turns in his rewritten script.

Among those in contention for Richards are Miles Teller, who has been fanning the flames of rumor at Sundance, while Kate Mara and Saoirse Ronan are being eyed for Sue Storm. Hit the jump to see who else might make the cut.

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If you’ve ever worried that technology might be moving too fast, that computer intelligence could soon move so far past human intelligence that we’re left cowering in the dust, that the machines will then turn around and destroy us, their makers — well, then Kate Mara has some terrible news for you.

According to a viral video from the mysterious revolutionary organization RIFT, computers are indeed the number one threat to humankind right now, and the only way to save our species may be to stop the scientists and unplug the machines. Watch the latest teaser for Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence after the jump. Check it out after the jump.

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After editing my talk with Jacob Gentry, which featured conversation about the virtues of Kate Mara, I’m ready for the second season of House of Cards right now. The show features Mara as a wily, ambitious journalist that gets too close to a power hungry Congessman (Kevin Spacey), and the first season, overseen by David Fincher for Netflix, was a powerhouse of performances and tight, intricate plotting.

The second season will debut next year, and now we’ve got a long trailer that re-introduces the characters, and throws out a few big themes, too. It’s going to get ugly, and I can’t wait. Read More »

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Jacob Gentry has been making movies for a long time; he made his first feature almost ten years ago, and hit the Sundance jackpot as one of the creators of The Signal in 2007. Earlier this fall we featured Gentry’s two-part short film / music video – both parts embedded below –for the forthcoming Broken Bells album ‘After the Disco.’ (The album arrives in early January.)

The short features Anton Yelchin and Kate Mara as a couple who find one another through a sort of science fiction dreamscape. Together with the performances, Gentry uses great visuals and Broken Bells’ cinema-ready music to create a vision where dreamers can get lost in their own desires.

I sat down with Gentry in LA not long ago to talk about the process of creating the video, and we ended up talking a lot about core concepts of directing. I always love hearing how a small project comes together to be more than the sum of its parts, but it was Gentry’s talk about the actual craft of directing that I think are really great for other young directors to read. Read More »

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The band Broken Bells, aka Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and James “the Shins” Mercer, makes very cinematic music. For a video to accompany new material the pair had a great idea. Burton took a story concept to Jacob Gentry (The Signal, My Super Psycho Sweet 16) and gave him the freedom to make an extended pair of shorts that effectively act as a music video for the album, rather than for any one song. (Gentry had previously done an earlier video for the band.)

The result is a two-part sci-fi romance starring Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Only Lovers Left Alive), which uses music from the Broken Bells record ‘After the Disco,’ along with some material that is exclusive to these videos, as the score for the whole story. There are some classic sci-fi influences here, a nice little twist, and an emotionally affecting arc to it all. Check out both parts below. Read More »

Fox Lines Up ‘Fantastic Four’ Actor Shortlists

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What’s the story with Fox’s new Fantastic Four, to be directed by Josh Trank of Chronicle? Jeremy Slater scripted, and while there have been some small polishes done on that draft here and there, recently we heard that Simon Kinberg (Fox’s current go-to guy with respect to comic book adaptations) was hired to do work on the script.

We don’t know what that rewrite is going to achieve, and until it is done we’re not likely to hear about any real casting decisions. But in the meantime Fox and the film’s producers are still working on lists of choices for the main roles in the movie, and several names have been leaked to the public. Read More »

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The film Transcendence is the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s long-time cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film has mostly been a mystery so far; we know the cast, which includes Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Kate Mara, and Paul Bettany. And we know that the story involves the transferrence of consciousness from a human (Depp) into a computer.

Most of the rest of the details have been under wraps. And they’ll remain so, but a few more teaser bits have come to light. Above is the first still from the production of the movie, showing the basic look Depp and Hall sport in the movie. And a brief behind the scenes featurette, embedded after the break, gives you a bit more info to go along with a Chinese teaser poster and quote from one producer about the aims of the film. Read More »

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